Disneyland guests face measles risk after infectious person visits, officials warn

A Los Angeles resident infected with measles visited Disneyland on Oct. 16, possibly putting hundreds of other visitors at risk for the highly contagious disease, health officials warn.

The person stopped at a Starbucks on Sepulveda Boulevard before visiting the famed Anaheim amusement park from 9:15 a.m. to 8:35 p.m., Los Angeles County health officials say.

Measles is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns. The “virus can live up to two hours” in the air or on a surface. An infected person can be contagious before symptoms appear.

L.A. health officials urge people who think they may have been exposed to review their immunization records and notify their doctor.

Then they should check for rashes and other symptoms for up to 21 days, officials say. If symptoms develop, stay home and contact your doctor.

Symptoms of measles, which start to appear within seven to 14 days of exposure, include “high fever, cough, runny nose” and red, watery eyes, the CDC says.

A rash, which appears three to five days later, begins as “flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet,” the CDC says.

In Los Angeles County, there have been 30 cases of measles in 2019, with 19 involving residents and 11 involving visitors, the health department reported. Most of those cases involved people who were not immunized.

In spring 2015, an outbreak of measles infecting more than 100 people in Southern California began at Disneyland in December 2014, LiveScience reported. Vaccination rates among those exposed in that outbreak were as low as 50 percent, researchers found.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.